South Side, Kauai
Shipwrecks has a lovely stretch of white sand to bask in the sun’s rays and beautiful cliffs that serve as a great backdrop. A lovely hike along the cliffs features an incredible, untouched coastline.
Discover Shipwreck’s Beach
Caution: Not A Lifeguarded Beach
Shipwrecks Beach is a great beach for hanging out in the sun or picnicking in the shade! Near the parking lot you will find bathrooms and a public access beach shower. There is also a large grassy area where you can sit under palm trees and enjoy the shade while watching the waves. This long, sandy stretch of beach makes this the perfect spot for sunbathing while looking out over the beautiful blue water. Don’t forget your reef-friendly sunscreen. You may want a beach umbrella as well!
Located next to the Grand Hyatt Resort, this beach is known for the beautiful cliffs that are to the far end of the beach creating a gorgeous backdrop that is popular for photographers, explorers, and even wedding parties. The waves here are often quite large and powerful so we do not advise swimming here. There is a sharp reef that fronts the shoreline, causing strong shore pound that offers great surfing for very experienced local surfers which can be very fun to observe as you sit on the sand! We do not encourage surfing here unless you are an experienced surfer, this is a popular spot frequented by locals who understand the wave’s break. There is no lifeguard on duty here to rescue you so if you choose to enter the ocean here you are doing so at your own risk.
At the far end of the beach, to the left of the parking lot if you’re facing the ocean, is the entrance to the Maha’ulepu heritage trail, one of everyone’s favorite easy Kauai hikes! The cliff here is a lithified sand dune and is up to 40 feet high! You will be able to walk along the trail and look over the wild coastline as the waves crash against the tall, rugged cliffs. It is often very hot and you will be exposed to the sun on this trail. There is also often a lot of wind so be prepared. The entirety of the trail is 3 miles but one can choose to turn around at any point, you will find beautiful views of this untouched coastline for the majority of the hike! Wear a hat, put on sunscreen, and bring water. You’ll be glad to have your camera with you and be sure to wear comfortable athletic shoes!
The Mahaulepu Heritage trail parking lot is located at the same spot where you will park for Shipwrecks beach. To get there you’ll have to drive on Poipu road past the Grand Hyatt. You will see a right turn soon after the turn into the Grand Hyatt, you’ll drive down Ainakoa Street past the Poipu Bay Clubhouse. The parking lot is at the end of this street, many people will park in the first area above the lot if it’s full.
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